The couple hosts a baby shower to launch the Richie Madden Children's Foundation
Credit: John Shearer/WireImage

Not many kids have a foundation launched in their honor before they’re born. But that will be one of the many privileges bestowed upon Nicole Richie and Joel Madden’s baby, due in January.

The couple hosted a surprise baby shower Monday for 100 expectant and new moms at the Los Angeles Free Clinic in Hollywood, where they handed out more than $200,000 worth of gifts. “The looks on their faces were priceless,” Richie told reporters after the shower. “Some of them didn’t even believe us [when they saw the gifts]. They thought we were joking.”

The Richie Madden Children’s Foundation (at, Madden said, was an idea the couple had when they found out they were expecting. “We grew up in Los Angeles,” he said, “and we want our child to be a part of the community, and to know that there’s a responsibility to help the community.”

‘Part of a Family’

And it’s a family affair. “We named it the Richie Madden Children’s Foundation because we each have families and our families are close, and our family is involved,” Richie said. By her side with his arm stroking her back during moments in the conference, Madden quipped, “We’re lucky that we have families that get along and love each other,” adding, “I think it’s great that our child will grow up as a part of that family.”

Amongst the goodies given to families in need were Baby Bjorn products, cribs, mattresses and toys from Fisher-Price. “Everything they got, we got,” Richie says, “so everything that will be in their nursery, will be in our nursery.”

Madden felt good about the event. “Sometimes people don’t want to believe that me and Nicole are just a young couple having a baby and we’re really excited. We don’t really get to share our lives with people. It’s nice to connect with people on a real level.”